This week marks 21 years since my first favorite cat died. She was Cirrus--a mystical, pure white, best friend. I adopted her at the Reno Animal Shelter when she was a wee kitten, leaving behind her twin because my ex-husband and I lived in an apartment with little room. When I saw this postcard for sale recently I thought about Cirrus and her litter mate, together again for decades now. It interests me to consider that because in many ways I feel she has never totally left me, so deep was our love and connection.
About five years after Cirrus died of kidney failure and I had fallen in love with my second favorite cat, Bleecker, now-husband Michael and I adopted a pure white bundle of fur to be Bleecker's buddy. She was Feather, whose loss I mourned in June of this year. But when she was tiny and my mother first saw her, she said to me, "Well, you have your Cirrus back." I quickly corrected her erroneous assumption. In no way was Feather a replacement for Cirrus. Cirrus was one-of-a kind (as Feather also grew to be) and I miss both of them and Bleecker, each individually, nearly every day.
When Cirrus was 13, two years before her death, she and I had a formal sitting with our local photographer. It was Christmas time and when we entered the studio I noticed that he had a lovely Christmas tree in the lobby. When he asked what I would suggest to calm Cirrus so that we might have the best results I asked if he would mind if I just let her down so that she could examine the tree. Adore the tree would be more like it, because how she loved Christmas trees! She wandered all around the tree, sniffing, admiring the lights--her own eyes shining more brilliantly than any light on the tree, and was totally ready for our photo session after about ten minutes.
These are a couple of the images from that special day in 1988, followed by the poem I wrote for Cirrus a few weeks after her death.
Memories of Cirrus
In the dazzling cloud that took your shape
and hazy moonlight on pure lacy snow;
In the silent exciting splendor of a playful
I recognize your grace, your tender soul
which long ago you shared through huge eyes
of limpid, marbled gold
rivaling the sun—
nurturing, dark, drowsy at night
two deep soothing caves
where I escaped into your promise
of fidelity and peace –
And nestled against your white silken fur,
your gentle paw touching my face,
I heard the room fill
with the opus you purred,
found serenity dreamy and whole.
MLydiaM ~ 1990